Twitter expert, Mark Shaw, was recently asked ‘Which is better, Google search or Twitter search?’ In this feature Mark puts Twitter search under the spotlight and shows how it can be used to attract new customers.

Google or Twitter?

Search me! If you are a consumer or customer waning to search for a business or solution to your issue/problem then by far the best search tool is Google. Clearly there are other search engines, Bing etc. but for now, we will focus on Google. So let’s imagine, I am looking to go to Bali on Holiday. I type into Google, Bali, or hotels in Bali, or how to get to Bali etc… What will come up? The results will all be hotels, flights, airlines, car hire .. everything to do with Bali. That’s great. Now imagine you are the business, and you want to find a customer. How do you do that? You can’t find customers or clients through Google. That’s what Google adwords are for. You place an advert with the solution, and people click on the advert to find out the answer. But that costs money.

Eavesdrop on the world

So enter Twitter search. Twitter allows you to eavesdrop on the world. Via their search engine, you can put in keywords, key phrases, and what you will find are… real people, talking about real stuff, in real time, and right now. In peoples’ conversations, they may well be talking about the problems they are having, or things they would like to buy, or places they may like to visit. So, you may well come across someone saying, ‘ anyone know where a good place to stay in Bali is? – Now, surely it does not get much better than that.

Think like a customer, not a business

When doing the searches, you need to think like a customer, not a business. What would a customer say, what language would they use. A good example is in the IT world. Imagine you were selling virus protection software for PCs. If you searched for peeps talking about ‘virus protection’ I doubt you will find many talking about PC virus protection. Instead, if you searched on peeps talking about their PC crashing, the dreaded blue screen, etc… this is what customers may well be saying. Stop…. Don’t sell So now you have found peeps talking about issues, problems, things that your business can help with.

Stop.. don’t sell to these people.

You cannot go from stranger to sale in 1 Tweet. You must first build up a relationship. Try to help, guide, advise and get to know them. Even if they don’t buy from you, they may become a great advocate for you. Perhaps have some free guides on your site that answer the most common questions regarding your products. Perhaps you could have the top 15 tips on what to look out for when buying this type of service or product… then drive people to read these guides which are on your website or blog. Now please don’t go away, and cancel your Google adwords campaign, I am not suggesting that. But please do start to hang out in Twitter search. Play around with keywords and phrases, and see what you can find. You may well be truly amazed.

Mark Shaw

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